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So you’re graduating? First of all, congrats! Graduation is the culmination of every late-night study session, the long book reports and essays, the early morning classes and all the drama in between. You did it! Now it’s time to celebrate, and why not do it in style? Consider picking up your diploma in one of these white graduation dresses. As a bonus, they’re all under $100.
Some schools have a strict all-white graduation dress code, while others have an unwritten rule that everyone seems to follow because it’s tradition. In fact, for some schools, the tradition of wearing white to the ceremony dates back to around 1900.
Why do people wear white to graduation? To better explain the significance, The New York Times cites Claudia Keenan, a historian of American education, in her doctoral thesis. In her words, wearing white “suggested that the parents were presenting their children to society” and that the children “still upheld their parents’ traditional values.”
Of course, when you think of a white dress, you may also think of a wedding gown or the dresses worn by protesters in the women’s suffrage movement. White has been a significant clothing color in many ways throughout history.
Whether you’re wearing white to graduation because it’s tradition or the rule, it’s possible to find an all-white dress that’s appropriate for the occasion and matches your personal style. These pretty white graduation dresses are proof.
The name of this dress says it all — it’s simple and sweet. However, zoom in and you’ll notice it has a pretty jacquard woven fabric that adds texture and style.
2. Aqua Square Neck Mini Tank Dress, $88
You can wear this linen dress under your gown to graduation, but keep it in your closet for brunch with the girls or dinner with the fam. It’s a great graduation dress because it’s so versatile. You can wear it with sandals, heels or sneakers, and you’ll wear it again and again.
This dress is a little flirty, thanks to its body-hugging fit and ruffled hem. However, it’s fully lined and features a wrapped V-neck, so it’s not overly sexy.
4. ASTR The Label Poplin Puff Sleeve Tiered Midi Dress, $49.97 (Orig. $99)
Puff sleeves are in! This white graduation dress is perfect for the ceremony and for visits with grandma. However, you can also pair it with cat-eye sunglasses and a beaded bag for the ultimate summer OOTD.
The scalloped lace hem, tiered skirt and ruffled straps on this dress give it a romantic feel. It’s a little like the Nap Dress, but with a few extra details.
If you want a more light and airy style, look no further than River Island’s Cami Midi Dress. Those graduation gowns can get a little hot, but the breeziness of this style makes it a great white dress for the ceremony on even the hottest days.
This shirt dress is admittedly a little bit sexy, but if that’s what you’re going for, you can’t go wrong with the long sleeves and collar detail.
8. Aqua Sleeveless Crochet Dress, $98
Crochet is one of spring’s hottest trends, and you can wear it to graduation with this lined dress from Bloomingdale’s.
This dress features a faux-wrap front, slightly puffed sleeves and a ruffled hem. However, the back is made extra cute, it’s slightly open and you can tie it back in a bow.
If you liked this article, check out these 10 thoughtful gifts any college graduate would love.
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